On June 16, Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled plans for Texas to build its own wall for border security. The funds for the $250 million down payment will come from the transfer of appropriated state budget money from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to the Disaster Fund account within the Office of the Governor. The Office of the Governor will then move the funds to the Texas Facilities Commission. This chart shows the breakdown of available border security funds. The letter directing the funds transfer was signed by Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, Sen. Jane Nelson, Chairman of Senate Finance, and Rep. Greg Bonnen, Chairman of House Appropriations.
Before the announcement, Abbott issued a border crisis disaster declaration on May 31 and directed the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to work with Texas counties to provide guidance and request any necessary waivers to give counties the flexibility to establish alternative detention facilities or add or expand current capacity. The agencies are also directed to streamline procedures and address any staffing issues that may arise with expanding capacity. Mid-month, the governor hosted a South Texas Border Security Summit, bringing together the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the Texas Military Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, county judges, sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors and border area landowners. The state is sending resources to border communities to help set up and maintain extra jail space.
Details of where the physical barrier will be built, the project’s total miles covered, or its total cost were not specified. Gov. Abbott has directed the Texas Facilities Commission to hire a program manager and firm to determine those specifics.
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